Sunday, September 29, 2013

Exempt America Rally

I try not to include politics (too often) on this site because that is not the primary focus of this blog. Homeschooling and training children up in a way that is in accordance with Jesus and His Word is the primary focus. But sometimes politics and homeschooling do go hand in hand. Which is why our family turned a lesson of "current events" into a field trip, to:


That's right, come this Tuesday, October 1, 2013, things will change in this country in a way that I believe will be a moment in history that we will not forget. This is the day that every American will be required, by law to receive government health care. This is the day that socialized medicine, although not a new concept, will be enforced in a way that goes against everything this nation stands for.

We took our children to a building. A building in which was built to face east. East, so that the sun would never set on the face of freedom. We went to the capitol of our nation, to the capitol building not because we believe the government is our hope and salvation. But because we still live in a country with freedom of speech, I write this post because I still live in a country where there is freedom of the press. And we went to teach our children that this country was established for the purpose of freedom. Not freedom to sin as this nation believes today when they hear that word, but freedom to worship the One true God, Jesus Christ.

Almost everyone I talk to when I share my political views and actions say, why "opt out" of government policies, it's not like you can going to make a difference?  My answer to that is, I'm not trying to make a difference but I'm following the conviction of God in my heart.

Just recently, I watched Monumental: In Search of America's National Treasure, a documentary by Kirk Cameron. Awesome. Basically the entire movie explains how a small group of under 200 people DID make a difference by following God. These people were the Pilgrims and a nation was formed where we were able to freely read our Bibles in our homes without being killed.

I'm thankful that I am still in a country where we can go to Capitol Hill and PRAY IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. 
I'm thankful we can still go and stand for what is right. To declare freedom. Even if it is only a handful of people, it was only a handful who began this great nation, why should WE sit back and let it go to ruin? 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dear Dad {Review}

We all have a story. A past. There are pleasant memories, and ones that you pray will be erased from your memory, forever. We all have had people treat us unfairly and unkindly in our lives, and how we choose to deal with that pain, determines how will will treat and react to others in the future. In Dear Dad, did you know I was a Princess? Sundi Jo Graham shares her testimony in light of her healed relationship with her father at the end of his life. This journal-style piece of writing shows her sharing her fears, insecurities and eventual faith in God in the form of letters to her dad. 

The story of Sundi Jo is interesting because her true deliverance and salvation found in God did not happen before she found herself in ministry but after. What a sobering message. Although my experience is different and I didn't fall prey to all the same sins as her, sin is sin. I too, remember when I was highly involved in ministry, yet my heart was far from God, far from desiring righteousness. I helped lead Bible studies to at-risk teenagers. I was a youth leader intern and co-led Bible studies for college students. I volunteered in prison ministries and homeless outreaches. Yet my life was a mess. I was not serving God in my heart, I guess I thought my works could save me and found myself at the point of burnout before truly surrendering to the will of Jesus in my life. 

I share that to say that the situation that Sundi Jo experienced, unfortunately is not unusual. Her personal experiences are unique and her testimony is powerful but the Bible says that there is no temptation has seized you except what is common to man, (1 Corinthians 10:13). There have been many who have fallen who at one point accepted Jesus and there will be many who will fall in the future. The Bible tells warns us of a great falling away to come, (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Dear Dad, did you know I was a princess?  reminds us that we need to work out our own salvation in fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12).    

After painful experiences in her life such as rape, homosexuality, obesity and alcoholism she was brought to a point of "intervention." Others who cared about her soul brought her to a place where women can receive healing and deliverance in an intense environment for about a year. Could you imagine? Being a Christian and serving God, working a full time job and living on your own in an apartment and then being taken away from
that life for close to a year? Forced to life with other women whom you hardly know who were trying to get their acts together and lives right with God?

Well, there is power in being forced to get in the Word of God each and every day of your life and to apply it to your own heart. To learn to pray and to pray with others. To worship and be in an environment of such. Feel free to check out her new ministry for women, Esther's House of Redemption

My Only Concern

My only concern about this book is if you are recently saved and have experienced a similar past as Sundi Jo, (rape, homosexuality etc). I would advise you that it might be too soon for you to read this book. Because of the details described of her sin in this book, if you tend to be spiritually sensitive, this could stir up some painful emotions for you.  

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chronicles of Dinosauria {Review}

Chronicles of Dinosaura by Dave Woetzel 
 Published by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group

Here's a little secret you might not know about me, (I hope you're sitting down). One of my goals in life. Is. To see a real, living, dinosaur. There, I said it. The nerdy me is out. I truly want to see a living, breathing, dino before I depart this wonderful world. No, I'm not going weird sci-fy girl on you. Bear with me, and please, let me explain, dinos do indeed exist, and have existed alongside man from the beginning of time. Now, I know many of your minds are racing, whether you are an evolutionist or old earth creationist, (meaning you believe that each day of creation was not a literal 24 hr day but millions of years passed between each day of creation). I know you may disagree with me. But I ask you to think. Is it possible? Is it truly possible that men and dinosaurs ever did exist together even though we have been told otherwise for all these years? I believe the answer is, yes!

Sitting in my second grade, public school class I eagerly raised my hand. "Teacher? How do we know that dinosaurs were actually called "dinosaurs" if they lived so long ago?" After laughing hysterically, my teacher calmed herself down enough to answer an obviously confused little girl, "Heather, it's not like the dinosaurs were talking to one another saying, hey we're dinosaurs." Silly question, yes, from an evolutionistic standpoint.  But now that I am a new earth creationist, I look back at that "silly' question and now ask, "Is it possible that dinosaurs and men lived together and what did those who saw dinosaurs call them?" Think about it. If dinosaurs and man did coexist, they obviously wouldn't have used the term dinosaur in their historical accounts. If we did read a historical account and saw that term, let me tell you, we probably would agree that yes, they did coexist. But, simply because historians don't use a word that wasn't invented until 1841, we cannot rule out other words to mean the exact same thing.

So if it is true. That men and dinosaurs roamed the earth together as clearly stated in the Bible, then what were these creatures called? Chronicles of Dinosaura by Dave Woetzel is an excellent resource for children answering such questions by exploring historical dragon sightings, biblical references to dinosaurs and more. 

As a homeschooling mom, I am always trying to seek out resources for my children to teach them what the Bible says about dinosaurs, rather than teaching what is so commonplace in the school textbooks. This book is a great resource presenting the evidence of men and dinosaurs, coexisting in a "scrapbook" presentation that is easy to understand. Some of the material I was familiar with in my recent years of exploring the creationist viewpoint. Yet, having the information all in one book, in a format presented in way that even children can understand, is an excellent resource to have on hand! I am excited to have this a part of our homeschool library now! There were also some interesting points brought out in this book that I had never thought about before such as the "fiery serpent" that Moses lifted up on the rod. I always assumed this to be a snake but the author has a different viewpoint on this event which I found quite intriguing.

This book provides evidence of men and dinosaurs through:

~ Biblical Evidence
~ Historical Evidence
~ Artistic Evidence
~ Fossil Evidence
~ Crytozoology Evidence 

This beautifully illustrated 84-page book is not one of those books that you can sit down and read in one sitting. It is a resource book and there is just too much to take in. Each page is jam packed with information that needs to be digested, discussed, and thought about. The author has a creative way about him and he himself has traveled all over the world in search, of yes, my dream, to see a real, live dinosaur! You can find out more about his adventures at Genesis Park.

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 Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review.
 All opinions stated are my own.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why Own a Blog?

When I first realized I was spending waaaay too much time on Facebook, (I see you nodding your head in agreement). I thought to myself, how can I monetize this situation? You see, the reason I was spending so much time on the computer was simple. Little ones. Schedules, naps. When I joined Facebook, I had three kids, ages three and under. True story. Someone was always napping, or so it seemed. I needed to be home a majority of the time to keep them on schedule. So, my only "me" time each day,  was online. Nothing wrong with that, but why not make this time profitable? So I left the Facebook community and started a blog. Fell in love. I figured, if other people can make money online, then why can't I? Well, I can, but what I learned primarily is what you put into it, is what you will get out. Basically, if you head into the blogging community thinking you will make a ton of money the first year, then, well unless you make it a full time 40 hour work week, you are wrong. But if you treat it as a hobby that you can take up when you have a little break, then slowly but surely you can grow it into a successful online marketing business.

People often ask me, how do you make money with a blog? Answer is, I don't make a whole lot, yet. My kids are getting older and with homeschooling and the demands of life, I can't put into it what I need to in order to make much cash. I do make a little though. Enough for a nice date night or girl's night out on occasion. Enough to buy a surprise gift for the kids off Amazon once in a while! Another perk of being a blogger is providing companies with product reviews. I receive a product, at no charge, in exchange for an honest review! Some people say, "wow, you get all that for free?!" My answer is no. It didn't cost me cash, but it does cost me my time. It's an exchange, a barter for my services. If you are considering starting up a blog, I say go for it. Take it seriously. Treat it as a small business. It's a hobby that can pay off and is enjoyable as well!

Monday, September 16, 2013

3 Laundry Shortcuts You Shouldn't Take

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1- Waiting For the Morning to Throw your Wet Load in the Dryer: 
Sometimes I can get away with this but more times than not, the load, after sitting around for hours, will begin to smell of mildew. Not even a couple of freshly scented dryer sheets will take care of that rancid scent. The clothes tend to smell worse than before they hit the washer!

2- Filling the Detergent Cap to the Top, even for Small Loads, to get your Clothes "Extra Clean:"
If you have a stain that is unberable, pretreat it or soak it before putting it in the washing machine. This will save you detergent and less trips to the store to buy more in the long run!

3- Running the Dryer Twice or Three Times rather than Cleaning the Lint Trap:
You know you've done this. Not that cleaning the trap is really that hard. But, pushing that button, just one more time is so much easier! I get it, but, so does your electric bill!

Comments make me smile! Feel free to share any laundry humor or woes below!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Logic Of English {Review}

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The Logic of English Essentials program combines phonics, spelling, vocabulary and grammar into one comprehensive curriculum. This program is directed towards students ages seven and up, but is easily adapted to work with emerging readers ages five and six and for ESL learners of all ages, including adults. I am currently using the Essentials program with my six year old with great success! The program is packed full with educational games and activities which I allow my five year old to join in on as well. This curriculum is so diverse in activities and student involvement, my highly active six year old doesn't seem bored but actually enjoys "English class." 

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In order to teach the Essentials program, it is recommended that you purchase at least the following:

Essentials Teacher's Manual: $95
Essentials Student Workbook (Cursive or Manuscript): $25
Basic Phonogram Flashcards: $18

Other supplemental products are also available to enhance your experience. 
The ones I received (as well as the above) include:

Spelling Rule Flash Cards: $15 
Phonogram and Spelling Game Book: $15 *I highly recommend*
2 Sets of Phonogram Game Cards: $10 each *I highly recommend* 

Currently there is a deal going on where you can receive all of the above plus several more supplemental materials such as a spelling journal, for $187.20.
You can view the complete package here
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When talking with other moms who are considering homeschooling one of the first things they fear is high school math. The second. PHONICS! Ahhh, how in the world can I teach my child to read? It's a scary thought to place such a large responsibility in your hands. But honestly, if you have decided to take the plunge and homeschool, then all you need is to get your hands on the right materials. My kids are still young and I'm still in the beginning stages of reading, spelling, the whole nine yards. But honestly, I am loving it. I'm learning some of these rules right along with them and it's interesting seeing the why's and how's of the English language! The concept of Phonograms and Spelling Rules are nothing new. And yes, they are found in other quality curriculum. What makes Logic of English different is it combines the two in an understandable way. 
The curriculum drills these phonograms into the student's brain in a way that is entertaining.  

What are phonograms? If you are curious a FREE list can be viewed here.

The phonogram cards provide the basic phonograms in the English language on one side and the different sounds, as pictured above on the other.
The Spelling Rules are printed on similar sized cards as well, fairly large and good quality card stock. When a new rule was introduced, I would use the white board on our easel to go over the rule. I would not only use the activities recommended, but since my children are younger, I would come up with some of my own games using the white board to give them some extra practice learning. To make things interesting, I would even sometimes take transparency paper and tape it up around the room with their names on it. I would call out a spelling word or sound and have them find their area on the wall to write their answer. They loved this. Keeping them active and involved helped keep things moving along.

The Spelling Rule flash cards provide you with a rule on one side and several examples on the back. A great reference.  A FREE list of the Spelling Rules can be found here
Our favorite part of the curriculum were the games. We received two sets of flashcards with each letter and each phonogram. In the beginning, the lessons suggest different games that can be played with the given cards. The rules of the games are outlined in the Phonogram and Spelling Game Book. My five year old enjoyed being included in the games and I would even have my three year old sit in to learn her basic letter sounds in the beginning. 


At first I was nervous to use this program since it is directed towards slightly older students, but when I received the book I saw a page geared towrds teaching Essentials to five and six year old students! It is recommended to teach 5-60 minutes per session, depending on the student. And, the best part, the schedule states to only teach one lesson every two weeks! The lessons are long, with several worksheets, activites and suggestions. Breaking up each lesson over a two week period just makes sense because there is so much to cover in each lesson. If my children were older I could see getting through a lesson a week but this pace with lessons ranging from 15-20 minutes in length a couple times a week is working wonders for my six year old. Again, my five year old works along with the older one with the games and activities and he is learning as well! It is suggested at this age to involve the child with many hands-on activities such as salt boxes, a whiteboard or chalk board. I found ideas such as these worked well for us!

What didn't work so well were the spelling lists, simply because of the age of my children. The first list was at their level but as soon as we got to the second one it was way too advanced. Other than that, I plan on using this curriculum throughout the year and into next!


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Friday, September 6, 2013

And The Winners Are.....

$200 Amazon Gift Card from Glideware goes to..... DONNA M.!!!
3 Purex Fels-Naptha Bars goes to.... ................. MARY BETH I.!!!

Thank you to everyone that entered! Donna and Mary Beth, be sure to check your inbox with instructions on how to claim your prizes!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Time4Learning {Review}

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Time4Learning is an online program for students in the Pre-K all the way through High School. Unlike a majority of other educational websites for kids, Time4Learning teaches subjects all across the board. Rather than focusing solely on phonics, math or reading, this website teaches Social Studies, Science, Math, Language Arts, and more. The variety of subject matter presented in different ways keep your kids engaged and entertained each session. 

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Unsure about the level of your student? No problem! You can sign up for a particular grade level and use the level directly above it or below it, if you need to. If you child is strong in a certain subject for example, you can have them work on a level higher in that subject but stay grade level in everything else. 

I wasn't sure where my son was so I signed him up for second grade but had him work on some of the first grade material. Then, one time I was watching him and realized his reading lessons were way below his level. I ended up changing all of his subjects to the second grade and now he is right on target!

The parent controls are easy to navigate and are password protected so only you have access, not your 
child .
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What makes Time4Learning stand out from the rest? THE TIMER!!! I love it. My son loves it. It just makes sense. Any other program that I've tried with my children use a point or reward system. Basically, how that works is they would do learning games to earn points, coins or something similar in order to "buy" time to play the more exciting and enticing games. For some reason, that method never worked for my kids. I would try the program thinking they would love the concept but still, even with the point system, it was too abstract for them. They knew they were going to receive points for finishing their lesson, but they would never be able to grasp how long the lesson would be. They would get impatient, frustrated and annoyed. I never understood why they couldn't just press through so they could get to the fun stuff. Now I see a better way.

Time4Learning takes a different approach which works wonders for my son. Instead of saying, "get 25 coins and you can play a game," it allows you to, for example, do 15 minutes of learning for 15 minutes of fun time. It's tangible, concrete and works for my child. The timer is continuously counting down for a time set by the parent. The child at anytime can go and see how much time is left before their lesson is over. I started out with 15 minutes a sitting and tried as long as 30 minutes. 20 minutes works the best so far and then he is able to play on the virtual "playground."

When the child starts their lesson, the playground is gray, rather than orange, meaning they are unable to access it. Once it is orange, they know that their time is up and they can go and have fun! Although, usually my son would go over his time on his lessons because he was enjoying those so much. The student is able to work on their lessons as long as is needed, it's just the playground cannot be accessed until the allotted time it up.

Not only is there a wide variety of subjects to choose from for the lessons, there is a vast mount of games for your child to enjoy during their "playground time." The amount of time spent here is up to you, the parent and as soon as the time is up, they are logged out of the game. Above is just a sample of some of the games they can choose from. A few of the games would take my son to other sites such as PBS kids or Sesame Street but it would still sign him out of the game when the time was up. 

For some reason he loved the old arcade games, such as Pac Man. He would be so excited to share these "new" games with his dad when he would come home from work. Every time he would be 
surprised when his dad had already heard of these games before!

With other online programs that I've tried, there would be one general "theme" or mascot" that was a constant throughout the entire program. For example, a certain character "teaching" them each new concept. What I like about this program is there is more variety with the graphics, images and types of activities the child can engage in. One lesson he might be reading a story and seeing how fast he can read a story. The next day he might be typing in words to a story. Other lessons, usually in science or history, a lesson is presented to the child and they take a quiz on what they have learned. They may be learning through games on one day and other days there would be listening or reading. My son has never been bored or complained about his program being too repetitive. One Saturday my son asked to do his Time4Learning not caring that it wasn't a school day, he enjoys it that much! 

~ Separate Parent and Student Login
~ Featured Art from the Students
~ Customizable Student Schedule
~ Printable Reports
~ Parent Forum to Connect with other Time4Learning Parents

Pre-K through 8th 
$14.95 each additional student

Click the banner below to read other reviews from parents of all age levels. 
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Greene Bark Press Inc. {Review}

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 A majority of the materials I review are for my sons, so when I knew that a board book from Greene Bark Press Inc.  would be in the mail, I was certain this would primarily be for my three year old daughter! Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again is a fun and educational board book written by Ginger Pate and creatively illustrated by Rhett Pennell.

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Ages 3-8 

The kids and I were outside when the package arrived and to my daughter's surprise, it was something she too could enjoy! We immediately opened the package to find a quality, study, board book inside! I was impressed with the size, not too small and the pages were thick and sturdy, perfect for little hands.
 The pictures certainly captivated her. She absolutely loved looking at the interesting pictures of Wally Waddlewater and his adventures  learning how to cross the street. When we received the book, outside, we opened it there on the front porch and read it. Not once. But twice. Not only with my three year old, but my five and six year old sons gathered round as well. The storyline was something they could relate to. Wally Waddlewater made a birthday card for his grandmother. He wanted to go into town to deliver it but wasn't quite ready since he didn't know basic traffic safety rules. Of course he thinks he knows what to do and attempts to cross the road by himself only to have his mother intervene. Sound familiar? Whether it's in the church parking lot, at the grocery store or even at home, there may be times when a young child may be oblivious to the potential dangers of the road. Sure, if they see a car or bus they aren't going to run across the road, it's just teaching them the concept of being aware of possible danger.  

Wally Waddlewater thinks he knows what's going on (as most young kids do,) and looks left and right before crossing the road. But, when his mother intervenes she teaches him to not only look left and right but to remember then to look left again. The book is catchy using this phrase over and over as Wally waddles through town making sure everything from cars to elephants are out of sight. 
What I love, is that while my three year old is engrossed with the pictures, my six year old son is able to read this story aloud. The storyline was both cute and educational. All three of my kids were able to learn a life skill, while having fun. That first day we read the book, my kids were sharing with their dad right when he came home that catchy little, "Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again" phrase because it was already stuck in their little minds.
This family owned company, Greene Bark Press Inc. has the belief that there is still a need for imaginative, quality, printed books to help students gain what they need to be successful in life. With all the internet based education available, Greene Bark Press strives to stretch the child's mind with hands-on learning materials. Aside from the variety of board books available, they also provide art activities, math games and more.  

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Homeschool Spanish Academy {Review}

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For the past few weeks, my five and six year old boys have been learning Spanish, online, through the Homeschool Spanish Academy. They have been taking classes in the Early Language Program geared for ages five through twelve. The Academy also provides instruction up through high school and for adults. 

Recently, I was talking with my husband trying to think of some ways I could make some extra money and the idea of tutoring came up. Then we realized that honestly, I would have no extra time to drive somewhere to tutor someone in their own home. Then I said, "I wonder if anyone ever has tutored over Skype?" Hmmm. Interesting thought. It crossed my mind but hadn't thought about it again. Then, not too long after that I attended a homeschool conference in Richmond, Virginia. If you have ever been to a homeschool convention then you'd agree with me that it is purely information overload. Basically, you get bombarded with vendors trying to sell you their product, (most of which you want to buy. some of which you do!) It's exciting because you get to see what is out there that you may have not ever known about before.

One booth I walked by was interesting. It didn't have any materials set up. It didn't have loads of curriculum set up along tables for you to leaf through. Instead, there were two guys there and a computer. Ok. What is this about? I then saw the logo that it was the Homeschool Spanish Academy. I almost just walked by and ignored them trying to find a free sample of something, or something tangible that I could look at. But, I decided to stop and see what they were about anyway. They begin telling me that they provide Spanish lessons for children via Skype with instructors from South America. Ok, I'm listening. (I guess there is such thing as tutoring via Skype). I informed him that my children were young, only five and six and wasn't sure if they worked with kids that young. Interestingly enough, they do, in their Early Language Program. And not only that, if I sign up both kids for the same lesson then the second child is half price!

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I came home and told my husband about this program, I was pretty excited. My children had taken Spanish the year before at a private school that let homeschoolers sit in, but the drive was far and we decided not to do it again this year. After looking at the price of this program, it would actually be cheaper to have the kids stay home and learn this way. By the time I added up the cost of gas and other expenses, this way really was cheaper! 

What I like about the Homeschool Spanish Academy

~ Your Child Has The Chance To Learn From A Teacher, LIVE From Another Country
I love that this company is utilizing technology in this way. The students are able to learn the language, from a Spanish speaking teacher in their own country. 

~ You Make Up Your Own Schedule
Plan the lessons for once a week, the same day and time every week or switch it up. Purchase your lessons and schedule them all at once or go week by week. If you need to reschedule because something comes up that week,  it's no problem, there is an option to reschedule. 

~ You Pick Your Instructor
Try different ones out or stick with one you really like. We tried two different teachers and really enjoyed one in particular and have stuck with her the rest of the lessons! You can see their pictures and read a bio about them on the site with their interests, teaching experience and education. Then, you check their availability and then pick the times that best fit your schedule. 

How It Works

~ Test your Internet Speed and be sure it matches up to their requirements.

~ Schedule Your First Class

~ Be Ready and At Your Computer at the Scheduled Time. The Teacher will Call You.

~ You will see the Teacher on Skype for a few minutes before they go to "screen share" mode. 

The instructor will not be seen during screen share mode but you will hear them. They will teach your child from these lessons throughout their session.

~ The teacher will interact with the student(s) asking them to repeat, read or share about what they are learning during a 25 minute session.

~ After the lesson is over, the teacher will email you a PDF with homework to complete for the next lesson. 
Some More Thoughts....I don't know what it is about Skype but every time my kids get on it with grandparents, aunts or uncles, they go crazy. They think it is a free for all. Sure, it's fun to talk to grandma, but their hyperness is always increased a billion percent on Skype. This made me nervous. I tried to prepare the kids that this was a time for learning and not for simply chatting with the teacher about everything and anything. Some days it worked, other days I had to take one of the boys out. I hated doing it, but for some reason they would just feed off of each other. One time I had only one child take the class and the other had to sit out. That class went very well. The dynamic of having them together, on Skype, to learn, just didn't work. I think it is just their age because when it was just one, they would do wonderfully for the teacher. It says on the website that you can have two students together in one class, IF they work well together, now I see why! They also will teach students that are five and six years old but recommend starting at age seven. Again, I can see why and agree. The program itself is a wonderful experience and I would use it for one child in a heartbeat. Maybe I would use it for them together again some day, when they are a little older.  I think one of the main problems was when the teacher would go to "screen share," my kids could hear her but not see her anymore. I would have to explain to them that she was still there, teaching them, even though they couldn't see her like in the beginning of the lesson. It was just confusing at times. Although, I must say, she really did keep them engaged most of the time and was quite patient with them. I was impressed with her quality teaching skills!

My boys are currently taking half a semester which currently costs $89.99 for Two-on-One pricing. That equals out to be only $12.86 per class total for both kids! They receive 7 twenty-five minute lessons for this price. 

Click here for a FREE trial lesson!

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Relationship vs Religion

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There is a cute children's song that says, "read your Bible and pray everyday and you will grow, grow, grow."  We try to teach our children at a young age the importance of daily Bible reading and prayer through not only implementing it into our homeschool curriculum but by example as well. We all know the power and importance of reading our Bible and praying but it alone is not our salvation. I know there was a time when I noticed that the days that I spent time with the Lord in the morning, those days were easier to get through than days that I didn't. The Lord loves for us to come to him first thing when we arise, it blesses Him and it blesses us and makes our relationship with Him stronger. But, if we are doing it with the mindset that our day will be easy peasy because we did our devotions in the morning, we are misled and doing it for the wrong reasons. When we have a relationship with Jesus, it is just that, a relationship. He is with us ALWAYS. When the difficulties come, at that moment, we can call on his name and he will answer. Our prayer time, hours before won't save us. Our time spent in worship at church the day before won't save us either. It may help us remember a scripture or a song to draw us to him, but it is in that moment that we need God, that we need to call for his help, and for His wisdom. He is an ever present help in trouble. That is the beauty of Him dwelling with us, at the time that our kids are screaming and yelling and we have no clue what to do that God can give us the patience and the words, to speak if we ask. Spending time in his word helps us to have a well to draw from, we just need to remember that the well is indeed there and that we can draw from what is hidden in our heart and  the presence of God every moment of our day! 


Basically this is saying that you are worried about what other people think. I understand that we want to be good examples to the younger generation when it comes to church attendance but we can't worry about what others think. Maybe you just had a baby, or one of your children are sick. There will be times you have to miss a service and usually it is to meet the needs of other people in your family. God has given you your family and you are responsible for their well being, you do not need to feel guilty about that! If you do have to miss church you do not need to feel ashamed or act like you committed some sort of sin. Just be responsible. If you are supposed to teach Sunday School or help with the offering, be sure to let the right people know you won't be there, simply stay accountable!


This is where the rubber meets the road, folks! This, right here, is why many, many people are church hopping, unsatisfied with where they are at. If you find yourself thinking, "leadership doesn't appreciate me," "this church doesn't see the giftings and calling I have on my life," "I could be doing so much more," "why is so-and-so in that position and I am not," then you are in a dangerous place. God is the one that lifts up and puts down. If you try to put yourself into a position too early, there could be problems if the character, integrity and experience doesn't match up. There is nothing wrong with being trained, with sitting under a ministry and receiving from them. Your time will come and when you are there, you wouldn't want everyone under you trying to usurp your authority! Be patient, stay close to Jesus and in due time He will use you in the way He seems fit!


Get over it please. Ok, maybe you should have witnessed to that girl at the park. Maybe it was a divine appointment and you missed it but, that is between you and the Lord. When God begins to impress on your heart to minister to people that is a beautiful part of your relationship with God. But, that is between you and God alone. Strengthen your relationship with God by yielding to these situations and repenting when you don't. You are not more spiritual the more times you witness or pray with people, it is a gift. Your regrets help no one and sometimes makes others around you feel like they aren't doing enough, so keep them to yourself!


God has given each of us different gifts, abilities and talents. If we have a religious mindset, when we see a need we think about how we can fix it. Rather, we need to look at the gifts and abilities of those around us and see if maybe God wants to use them! God might be preparing them for such a task as this so be open to say no if the task just isn't for you!